By Shyann Williams

This past August, Universal Pictures, Universal’s Music’s Interscope label, Apple and Beats by Dre joined forces  to create a campaign that took over social media for the highly anticipated N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton and Dr. Dre’s first solo album in 16 years. If you weren’t interested in the movie or wasn’t a fan of Dr. Dre, chances are you still heard about or played a part in the campaign.

The four companies came up with a fully integrated campaign resulting in several attention-getting plays. When UFC champ Rhonda Rousey knocked out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds on Aug. 1, the Straight Outta Compton label was right below her on the mat; there was an ad for the film during the first Republican presidential debate on Aug. 6 that 24 million people saw; the “Straight Outta Somewhere” meme went viral with nearly 6 million plus personalized labels being shared on the internet; and the word Compton was literally painted over the skies of Los Angeles.

Three junior BeatsbyDre employees were tasked with coming up with a campaign, they stumbled upon a video of Dr. Dre talking about how the members of N.W.A. named their album Straight Outta Compton because they wanted to show they were proud of where they came from. Beats then went on to hire a North Kingdom agency to create the meme generator that allowed anyone to input their own hometown in N.W.A.’s signature black and white logo. The site was launched on Aug. 5, featuring some of Beats partners including tennis star Serena Williams and NFL player Richard Sherman, presenting their own “Straight Outta Somewhere” stamps.

Meme Generator

The “Straight Outta Somewhere” meme instantly went viral, it was downloaded over 6 million times and simultaneously trended No. 1 two days in a row across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and, during that time, there were an average of 15,000 #StraightOutta tweets and retweets per minute. The buzz around the movie continued through the week and the weekend, it was everywhere.

Images of the word “Compton” skywritten across the sky all over Los Angeles also went viral. Interscope Records orCL1sAwnVAAAfw8lganized the promotional tool for Dr. Dre’s album, released exclusively on iTunes Aug. 7.

Universal talked to Snapchat about playing a part in the campaign, on the day before the release of the Straight Outta Compton movie they turned the meme into a customized geo-filter that users layered over there snaps. There were 9 million uses of that filter and seen by almost 200 million people.

The campaign was a strategy of giving people the tools to share something about themselves while also indirectly promoting their product. The campaign was exciting and created a lot of positive energy, it also reached not just the typical audience of rap music; it went beyond demographic groups. The promotions all complimented each other going into the launch of the film, which made it a #SocialWin. BeatsByDre also did a campaign on YouTube:

“Everyone has a story about where they’re from. What’s yours?”


BeatsbyDreThey featured celebrities, artists, athletes, producers and actors in the campaign by doing short videos explaining what being from their hometown means. The campaign also went internationally featuring artists from Asia and Germany. Consumers wanted to participate because they saw their favorite celebrity participating.

Users also contorted the viral movement by poking fun at other pop culture and other companies participated too. 

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User generated content and shareability is key to getting consumers involved in your campaign, it creates a community that connects users not only through what you’re promoting, but through shared feelings mediated through your brand. That’s exactly what the companies did by building an emotional connection, people were able to show hometown pride and connect with others who are from the same place. Dr. Dre also put storytelling into the marketing of this movie, everyone shared their story. Although, everyone that participated in the campaign may have not seen the movie or bought Dr. Dre album; they helped gain an awareness about it.


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